By MURIMI GITARI
The cabinet Secretary for Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Peter Munya has announced that the merging of EPC and Branding Kenya is at the final stages after giving it life through a cabinet resolution in October last year.
Speaking during the launch of Kenya Export Market Development Programme (KEMDP) at Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi, the CS new entity dubbed as Kenya Export and Branding Agency will be complete in the first quarter of this year.
He said there will be a meeting that will bring all the stakeholders to discuss the implementation strategy of the merge and what has been happening plus the way forward.
“We need to fast truck the implementation of the merge for us to achieve successful fruits,” CS Munya said.
The merge of the two may have come up due to the countries’ inability to diversify its export markets and products as enshrined in Export Promotion Council strategy. Brand Kenya was formed in March the year 2018 and has been struggling to execute its mandate of marketing Kenya’s best products and services to the world.
The merge is expected to grow the countries’ exports at an average of 25 percent per annum according to CS Munya. It will be a one stop centre.
EPC has already lined up a total of 300 events all over the world a move that is aimed at enticing buyers to Kenya’s good and services. This is in realization of the government’s agenda of raising volume exports that have stagnated in the recent years.
EPC CEO Mr. Peter Biwott said that they are setting up countries’ export to strengthen exporter-buyer framework to increase sales of products worldwide. Data from Kenya Bureau of Statistics (KEBS) shows that Kenya imported goods worth Kshs 997.1 billion in the first ten months of 2018 compared to Kshs 291.8 billion worth of exports.
During the launch of KEMDP, the CS said that a code of conduct has been developed by stakeholders which will help in solving problems like late payments to suppliers and especially Small Medium Enterprises SMEs as investment policy awits cabinet approval after its completion. He gave a warning to all those that have plans of importing sub-standard goods while the country is focusing to grow the sector.